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Happy Fourth and some Sizzling recipes

By Jane Butel  July 3, 2018

I hope all of you have a very Happy Fourth of July!  Here in Corrales we will be watching the great parade they have every year--formerly called the Pet Parade.  However there has become so many more entries, that it is now call the Corrales Fourth of July Parade which is conducted every Fourth at 10 AM.

I would love to see you this Sunday at the Treasure House in Old Town Albuquerque from 1 to 3 PM where I will be signing books and treating you to one of my favorite Southwestern appetizers.

In the meantime we are still giving lots of classes, private classes, day classes, weekend and our week long class is starting July 15.  There is still time to join the class and we would love to have you.  Almost all of our classes are full participation and smaller with an outside limit of 12.

Our next weekend class is August 10-12 followed by weekend classes September 7-9 and November 9-11.  You an view our calendar of our day classes here.  Grilling will be next on August 16. 

With these hot busy days--I thought you might like trying some of my main dish salads  from my newly re-published Quick and Easy  cookbook and my Southwestern Grill.

Summer Main Dish Salads

Somehow summer and salads seem to just fit niftily together—like a hand in a glove. With the bounty of summer’s fresh fruits and vegetables, and the predictable warm weather, cooling salads just fit the bill.

If you are eating salads to maintain or lose weight, some thoughts and ideas to keep in mind are that as many calories as you save by eating like a bunny, you often ruin the calorie deficit by heaping on overloading bunches of very fattening dressing.

Years ago, for the average tossed vegetable salad, I developed the habit of making my dressings in the bottom of the bowl before adding the ingredients. I am a bit sparing on the olive oil—I just pour in enough to cover the bottom of the bowl; then add a bit of Dijon mustard, say a small spoonful, and about a third as much vinegar or acidic juice such as lemon, lime or what have you. (The more you cut back on the oil, the more calories you save.)

I use a small whisk or a fork to whip it together and the mustard becomes an emulsifier that makes a smooth looking dressing. You can also add whatever herbs, fresh garlic, honey or complimentary flavor to the salad dressing ingredients. And, magically, you have your very own dressing.


Here green chiles supply the capsaicin or spiciness. Green chiles are merely unripe red chiles and possess the same measure of capsaicin as though they were red, ripe chiles. This quick to make main dish salad, complements of convenience or deli ingredients, is a quick and healthy, spicy entrée for lunch or dinner

Yield: 4 servings

1 6-ounce package southwestern-flavored rice mix
¼ pound boneless, skinless deli chicken, diced
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
¼ cup jalapeno Lime Cream Dressing
Optional garnishes: ¼ cup ripe olives, sliced; 1 head of red or green leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

2. Place the chicken, chiles, pepper, and rice in a large bowl and toss with the salad dressing. Add the olives, if desired. To serve, divide the salad among 4 plates, on top of the lettuce, if using.

Per serving: Calories 333, Protein 32 g, Carbohydrates 38 g, Fiber 4 g, Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 80 mg, Sodium 767 mg, (Analyzed with 1 Tablespoon butter called for in the package of rice mix)


1 cup plain yoghurt or ¼ cup nonfat sour cream with ¼ cup skim milk whisked in
1 or 2 jalapenos, minced
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1/2 lime)
½ teaspoon lime zest

Combine the yoghurt, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and zest. Whisk together, or place in a jar and shake. This dressing will keep at least 2 weeks covered in the refrigerator.

Reprinted with permission from “Jane Butel's Quick and Easy Southwestern cookbook


Grill Veggie Salad-July 2009 Cooking Club


The fresh orange juice lacing the dressing makes it a particularly nice accent for any poultry or pork main dish. Heating herbs in oil intensifies their flavor.

Yield: 4 servings

1 red bell pepper, rinsed and left whole
1 green bell pepper, rinsed and left whole
1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into ½ inch-thick slices
1 small yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise into ½ inch-thick slices
1 small eggplant, cut lengthwise into ½ inch-thick slices
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut crosswise into ½ inch-thick slices


2 Tablespoons good-quality olive oil, preferably Spanish
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange-juice
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat grill to medium-high or 400F (205C) if not already hot. Place bell peppers on grill rack. Arrange remaining vegetables on separate skewers for ease in turning. Lightly brush with oil and place on grill rack. Grill bell peppers until evenly blackened and blistered, turning often. Grill remaining vegetables 5 to 7 minutes or until charred on edges and grill marks are apparent.

2. Place grilled bell peppers in ice water to cool. Drain and peel, then cut into about ¾ inch squares. Place squash, eggplant and onion on a cutting board and slice into matchsticks. Prepare dressing. To serve, place vegetables in a large bowl and toss with dressing


1. In a small pan that will not get blackened by grill, heat oil with cumin and coriander about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.

Reprinted with permission from “Jane Butel’s Southwestern Grill



Grilled chicken breast is the darling of fast, low-fat meals. It is quick and easy to prepare and really stunning Grilled chickenwith the chard, which you can prepared easily on a stovetop grill.

Yield: 2 large or 4 small servings

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
1 teaspoons Basic Rub
1 Bunch or swiss chard (12 to 16 ounces)
1 large Spanish –style white onion
¼ cup Cilantro Salsa or Tomatillo Salsa

1. Trim the chicken, removing all fat and membrane. Rinse, pat dr, and evely sprinkle with rub and rub into surfaces of chicken. Rinse the chard and cut into 2-inch-wide strips. Slice the onion in half lengthwise, then cut it crosswise into ½ inch wide strips.

2. Preheat a large, heavy, well-seasoned skillet until hot. If necessary, spray the skillet with nonstick oil. Grill the onion for about 3 minutes; stir until the edges blacken somewhat. Stir and push the onions to the side and add the chicken breast. Cook for 4 minutes, then turn the chicken and cook for another 4 minutes.

3. When the onion is somewhat soft and the edges are browned, remove from the skillet. Place the chard in the skillet off to one side. Check for chicken doneness by pressing with your finger. The chicken should be firm to the touch and, when sliced, white inside. Remove the chicken to a cutting board.

4. Cover the skillet and sear the chard until some of the leaves are blackened and wilted on the edges. To serve, arrange the chard in a strip down the center of each plate. Arrange the on ion in a row on each side of the chard. Cut the chicken into ½ inch wide slices and center it in a row on the chard. Top with the salsa.

Per Serving (1/4 recipe): Calories 138, Protein 20 g, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 3 g, Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 47 mg, Sodium 308 mg. (Analyzed with Cilantro Salsa)


Cilantro’s fresh taste can tame the most fiery dish. This salsa pairs well with a main dish of almost any kind.

Yield: 1 ¾ cup, or 4 servings

½ cup onion, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 small jalapeño, minced
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1. In a non-reactive bowl, combine the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, and lemon juice. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.


An old Mexican favorite that is good over almost any meat or tortilla dish. Tomatillos, available in Mexican specialty shops, should always be used. Don’t substitute unripe green tomatoes, because they lack the subtle, sweet taste of the tomatillos.

Yield: About 2 cups

2 cups quartered, fresh tomatillos
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno chile or Serrano chile, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1. If using fresh tomatillos, remove outer husk. Quarter and place in one inch deep boiling water in a heavy pot. Cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until color deepens and they are almost fork tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Process tomatillos in a blender or food processor until coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients; process to combine. Taste and if necessary, adjust seasonings.

 Reprinted with permission from "Jane Butel's Quick and Easy Southwestern cookbook"



Delicious and easy, this salad is somewhat reminiscent of a fajita salad but with corn and black beans. Add a favorite bread or crisped tortilla strips.

Yield: 6 servings

Lime Vinaigrette (see below)
1-1/2 cups cooked corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
2 cups cooked or canned black beans
2 Tablespoons pickled jalapeno chiles, minced
½ cup diced Spanish onion
1 Tablespoon each ground pure mild and hot New Mexican chile
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound boneless, skinless turkey breast fillets
12 to 15 leaves red leaf lettuce
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into long slivers
1 papaya or mango, peeled and cut into ½ inch squares


1/3 cup good-quality olive oil, preferably Spanish
3 Tablespoons good-quality sherry or red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon ground Mexican oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon minced lime zest

1. Prepare vinaigrette, see instructions below. Toss corn, beans, jalapeno chiles and onion with half of vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high or 400F (205C), heating only a small part of it. Combine chile, cumin, garlic and salt in a small bowl. Rub chile mixture on turkey. Brush grill rack with oil and add seasoned turkey. Grill first side about 5 minutes; turn and grill another 5 minutes or until outside is browned and inside is no longer pink.

3. Dice turkey and toss with remaining vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Arrange lettuce leaves on 6 serving plates; top each with a mound of corn mixture. Arrange avocado strips around corn mixture like petals. Top with turkey and papaya.


1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.

Reprinted with permission from “Jane Butel’s Southwestern Grill”








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